OWS 2017/18: Round 2 Busselton

This post comes with many photos, perhaps more than usual, which I think it’s nice anyway. The truth is that I simply forgot to write down a few words in advance, and now some week has passed and I do not remember much except statistics…so here it is, a visual description and a few stats.

Busselton was the second round of the OWS. I had never been there, and I must say that it is really worth a visit. The see near the jetty is amazing. Unlike the Busselton jetty swim and the triathlon event, in the OWS you don’t swim around the jetty, just beside in a trangular shape circuit. 

Now some stats. I finished 5th overall in the 5k event. 1st of my category and this was good to get some points for the scoreboard. I really enjoyed this race even if it was a bit more “physical” than usual. The only black spot is that this time I didn’t notice the 1st and the 2nd place swimmer swimming away, I just thought that the pack was leading, not following. My final time is 1h 04′ 04″, therefore I guess that this time the circuit was 5 real km. 

And now, since I do not remember much except some drafting, some “contact” near the buoys, and that I got some chafing despite the woolfat, let’s go visual.

Busselton jetty
End of the race (I am in the middle)
The finish line
Participants through the finish line
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New season, new OW series: round 1 Cottesloe

Last year this race should have been my first after starting swimming again, but it was canceled for bad weather. Same bad weather this year again, but luckily it has not been canceled, only postponed one week. The ocean was indeed really nice on the race day, no waves, no chops, no particulary strong currents, no winds. I signed up for the 5k race and I really hoped to swim in a time near my PB; however…the position of the buoys has obviously been miscalculates and the race seemed to last forever. Bye bye PB. More on this later. First a rough summary.

Start of the 5k wave

I did my homework and I swam with the leading pack from start to finish. But this time I have been smart enough not to lead the pack, just drafting lovely staying in second or third position until the last 600m. All the kids, the young elite athletes I mean, at the end were far better sprinter than me, and I finished sixth, but at least I won my age group and I didn’t finished too far behind, just 20 seconds from the first.

Coming out of the water

And now some detail. I really enjoyed this race, and it has been awesome to draft to the side from start to finish. It has been much better than my usual draft to the toes. Who was leading tryied to escape at almost any buoy turn but actually nobody really succeed in breaking up the pack (7~8 swimmers) until the last half lap. I tried myself during the last lap to sprint away in a moment that the pace was low, but it didn’t work. Well, at least I know that I gave it a try. What broke up the pack in the last 600m was lapping the last slower swimmers of the 2.5k wave. At that point I couldn’t see anymore who was following whom, and who wa trying to sprint. But anyway, it was a lot of fun.

Almost there

About the course. It was supposed to be a 1.25k rectangular shape. However, as soon as I saw it from the shore something didn’t sound quite right to me. I couldn’t be sure, but one end was between the Cottesloe pylon and the groyne, while the other end almost reached Eric street. If the are approximately 700~800m from the pylon to North Cott SLSC, which is slightly past Eric st., then the course simply couldn’t be 1.25k. In fact the pack, from the 1st to the 8th, arrived all between 1h 18′ 17″ and 1h 18′ 40″ (my time was 1h 18′ 37″), we have been told that the split of the first lap was about 20′, which doesn’t make sense at all. At home later I checked better with google maps: one lap was about 1.5~1.6km, which makes sense with the splits and the final time, since it means that the final distance was somewhat between 6km and 6.4km. But it is ok, it was longer for me as it was for anybody else.

Medal time

Anyway, let’s get to what I learned. I realized that drafting to the side is better. I saved a lot of energies and I swam in the pack all the race (thanks Naomi for the tip). It is also a good position to not make people swimming away. I already knew that considering my characteristics and that I am swimming with younger swimmers that I am not going to win a race at the sprint. With swimmers stronger than me it is better to draft and to try, if it is the case, to swim away before the end. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This time I gave it a try, and it did ‘t work. I still have to give another try, maybe next week at Busselton if it is the opportunity.

Training December 4th, 2017

Ocean (City beach), 2.2 km (40′)

6 laps at City beach 
1st and 2nd lap swim easy

3rd lap 50 strokes fast/25 strokes easy

4th lap 50 strokes fast + 10″ rest

5th lap drafting drill

6th lap medium to easy speed

Notes: it was a really nice morning down at City beach, just a bit of wind and no waves. Everything was great, except a lot of stingers. Really, a.lot.of.stingers.

Training December 2nd, 2017

Swimming pool, 5km (1h 30′)

24 × 50 (minute man, starting @1′ to @36″) 

3 × (18 × 50) (minute man, starting  @54″ to @36″, 1st swim, 2nd paddles, 3rd fins)

200 easy (kick fins)

16 × 37.5 @45″ (alt. fly/back/fs)

300 fs easy (pull)

Notes: good “minute man” sets with my informal squad this week. It is a good exercise to learn how to slowly rise the pace. 

Training December 1st, 2017

Swimming pool, 5 km (1h 30′)

500 fs

500 fs (pull)

12 × 25 fly @30″

2 × (300 + 250 + 200 + 150 +100) (fast, 1st set paddles @45″ cycle; 2nd set swim @50″ cyce)

200 easy

9 × 100 @2′ (fly/back, fly/breast, fly/fs)

500 fs (pull)

Notes: thus session today with my informal squad was not hard, but it could have been. I swam the main set a bit above my threshold time, but I wish I could have swam slightly faster. I didn’t feel as fatigued as yesterday, but I hope to feel better soon.

Training November 30th, 2017

Swimming pool, 7km (1h 45′)

1000 fs @15′ +

3 × 500 fs @7’15″/7’/8’15” (2nd with paddles) +

2 × (400 + 200 + 300 + 100) @5’40″/3’20″/4’15″/1’45) +

500 (25 fly/75 fs)

500 + 400 + 300 + 200+ 100 fs (paddles, 10″ rest)

500 (fins, 50 kick/50 fs)

Notes: today I felt quite strange, it was not hard, it was quite easy actually, but I felt fatigued, almost lacking energy. It was not muscle tireness, it was a general feeling of lacking strength.

Training November 29th, 2017

Swimming pool, 6 km (1h 45′)

1000 fs (every 4th lap back) 

10 × 50 kick @1’10” (fins)

2 × (24 × 50 fs) (minute man, start @1′ and kock off 1″ each 50; 2nd set paddles)

100 easy

5 × 100 @2′ (50 fly/50 fs)

100 easy

4 × 300 fs @4′ (band + pull + paddles)

200 fs (fins)

Notes: nice session today with my informal squad. After 10k yesterday it didn’t feel too hard, it looks like I recovered well.